Wednesday, 13 September 2017
Consideration of Legislation
That the government business order of the day relating to the consideration of the Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017 be discharged from the Notice Paper.
I seek leave to amend the motion.
Omit all words after "That", substitute "if, by 18 October 2017, the government business order of the day relating to the consideration of the Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017, has not been finally considered, the order of the day shall be discharged from the Notice Paper".
Senator Lambie, I do not have the motion in front of me. Do you have that in writing? Senator Lambie, could you sign what you have in writing so that we have it in front of us? Just to simplify things, so that everyone knows what we are doing, Senator Lambie, you are putting: 'That, if by 18 October 2017', and then the words remain the same until 'has not been finally considered, the order of the day shall', after the name of the bill was mentioned. Does everyone understand the nature of the motion? I'm quite happy to read it out. Everyone understands the motion.
Let me definitively put on the record that, when the citizenship bill does come up for debate in this place, the Nick Xenophon Team will oppose the bill in its entirety because it's fundamentally flawed and would require significant redrafting for us to consider it. The government needs to go back to the drawing board on this. As senators, it is incumbent upon us to do the job we have been elected to do, which is debate and vote on bills before us. This is part of a healthy democracy. To honour that duty, the Nick Xenophon Team will support the motion as amended to provide the government sufficient time to bring the bill on for debate and subsequent vote, thereby providing certainty to many migrants who call Australia home.
It does help if we have the amendments circulated in the chamber well in advance. If that could be facilitated, it would make life a bit easier. The question is that the amendment moved by Senator Lambie to Senator McKim's notice of motion No. 493 be agreed to.
The coalition government is committed to strengthening requirements for Australian citizenship. The government's commonsense reforms are designed to maintain public confidence in the citizenship program and to support a prosperous and secure Australia. Citizenship forms the cornerstone of our successful multicultural society. It is disgraceful that Labor and the Greens are not even willing to debate measures to strengthen it. This motion is a stunt that demonstrates how little respect the Greens have for Australian citizenship. In lurching to the extreme Left and partnering with the Greens, Labor has hit a new low on border integrity.